I was probably in 3rd grade at Mary Calcott School in Norfolk, Virginia. Somehow I sprained my skinny ankle and limped along the hallway after the dismissal bell rang, telling no one I was hurt. But I soon realized I could never walk the usual 4 blocks home. Home was 315 E. Chester Street.
Star is school, home is 168 circle.
137 E Westmont Ave., Norfolk, VA
So I hobbled into the office.
"May I please use the phone to call my Mama to come pick me up?"
Someone handed it to me so I dialed JU-35516. (JU was for justice. I'm amazed I remember this.)
Daddy answered, "Hello."
I clutched the phone close to my lips so nobody would hear, afraid I would cry, "Daddy, I hurt my ankle and can't walk very good. Can you or Mama drive here and pick me up?"
"Kathy, Mama took the car and won't be back for awhile. Can you get out to the front of the school?"
It was just a few more yards, "Yes sir," I sniffed.
"Then go there and wait. I'll do something."
Something. But what? When? How?
I don't remember how long I sat there on the retainer wall at the top of the school steps peering for a blue Buick. All the other kids were long gone. I sat there quite alone.
I saw a dot coming my way but it was too small to be our car. As it neared I realized it was just someone on a bike. Finally I saw the long legs pumping that girl's bike and recognized the lanky figure coming my way.
It's Daddy! He's riding my bike! Coming to rescue me!
I limped down the steps to meet him. He probably looked quite silly as a tall Navy man on an undersized kid's bike. A girl's at that! He didn't care how he looked. But to me he looked like a knight in shining armor, galloping on a white stallion. Few words were said. He just smiled and nodded for me to mount on back.
I was about 3 years old in this earlier shot but you can clearly
see why he earned his Navy nickname, Legs Tippett.
As I wrapped my scrawny arms around his waist and clung, I finally buried my head into his T shirt and cried softly. "You OK back there, Sis?"
"Yes sir." I am now.
Daddy's broad shoulders blocked my view all the way home. I felt the sway as he rounded corners, heard the rush of cars around us, felt the wind dry my tears. Felt safe, even if not yet home. Daddy's long legs pumped, knees flying high until he got me home.
If Daddy was still alive I doubt he'd even remember that day. But I've thought back on that afternoon many times.
Ricky and I loved posing with that old Buick.
Easter Sunday Ricky and Bert with me at 315 E. Chester St.
There've been times life slammed me so hard I couldn't walk another step. My heavenly Father came to my rescue. But when I first cried out, I still wondered what? When? How? It may not have been in the way or time I'd expected but He was never late. I clung to Him, blinded by my own tears. God often blocked my view. I couldn't see the future or understand the reasons for my pain. But I trusted Him because He loved me like Daddy. He'd keep me safe, get me home.
I had a godly father who gave me a good picture of a loving God, my Abba Papa. You may have had that or not. But the perfect Father is available to you. He knows your hurts, loves you more than His own life and wants to come help you. He just waits for your call.
Call. Cling. Trust.
He'll get you home safely.
If you're impacted by this blog or the following video , please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDgVske63cY
Leaning on the everlasting arms,